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RAN Armament Depot Brisbane

The Navy List for October 1945 records the existence of this depot. It shows that the Naval Armament Stores Officer was Stan T. Atherton, who had an office staff of 6 clerks, 1 typist and 1 assistant. Atherton's daughter June believes that her father had been transferred from Navy Office in Melbourne to establish the Brisbane depot after the outbreak of the war with Japan. He returned to Navy Office, probably in late 1945 or early 1946. By August 1946, the Officer-in-charge was A.L. England, a Royal Navy civilian officer who was probably on loan to the RAN in connection with the British Pacific Fleet's logistic support. The Depot appears in the January 1946 issue of the List, but not in that for January 1947.

Listings of files in the National Archives of Australia contain references to:

According to the website OzatWar, the Darra depot was located south of the US Army's depot and within the present Greenbank Military Camp.

An article in the Brisbane Courier-Mail of 10 November 1945 quotes naval authorities as saying that the Mount Coot-tha site, formerly United States property, had recently been passed to the Royal Navy. Files in the National Archives suggest, however, that the transfer was to the Royal Australian Navy, but for use to accommodate stocks for the Royal Navy. The buildings on the site were processed for disposal on 11 July 1946.

During 1947, the depot office was located at Lamington Street, New Farm but moved the same year to the Naval Depot, Alice Street, Brisbane. (Commonwealth Navy Orders 196 & 294 of 1947.)

A file now in the National Archives of Australia (Item details: J2780, ST192 Brookhill - Naval ammunition dumps (Queensland) 1943 - 1943) contains a survey plan of a navy ammunition storage site at Brookhill, near Townsville. However this site was most likely to have been managed by the Naval Officer-in-Charge at Townsville.

No further information is available. It is likely that the depot operated only "for the duration" of some part of World War 2, and for a short period thereafter whilst stocks were disposed of or redeployed.

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Robert Curran
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